Back to School Nostalgia

It’s that time of year again, do you feel it kicking in?

Kids are heading back to school and I am feeling old and nostalgic.

Here is why I am feeling old.

22 years ago I started Kindergarten (we didn’t have J/K back then, at least not in my school)

13 years ago I started high school

9 years ago I started at Brock University

4 years ago I started at Fanshawe College

This year my niece, who was born in my fourth year at Brock, is starting grade 1!

Where did time go?

 

I always loved going back to school. I as a geek and/or a nerd, even back then. I loved learning, I still do, so school was a lot of fun for me. I was the kid that my Mom had to basically tie me down on days that I was sick so that I would stay home (yes I was a very weird child).

What I loved the most about school though looking back was all of the friends that I had. I think that is why this time of year makes me so nostalgic. A lot of those friends that I have now have lives of their own that aren’t intertwined with my own. I get it people grow up, move on and grow apart and that is part of life. At this time of year though I become nostalgic for those various moments in time and begin to miss the people who helped the memories that I treasure.

In elementary school there was a group of six of us. Four girls, my best friend Courtney, our friends Kathryn and Julie and myself who all started Kindergarten together and graduated from Grade 8 together. In grade one we added Kyle to the fold and in grade three Gerry joined our group when he moved to our school from a school in London. The six of us were incredibly close and throughout elementary school we did most things together. During the school year it was the six of us and during the summer it was me and the two boys, which sounds incredibly wrong, but it wasn’t I played on a boys baseball team most summers growing up. Looking back with rose-coloured glasses we were a group of friends like those you see on TV. We did everything together; we looked out for each other. Outside of that group of six though, was one of my absolutely favourite people. His name was Dave, my parents called him David Penpal, because of his last name. He was a year older than me, but because I always ended up in the higher split and he was always in the lower split, we were always in the same classes from my grade 1 to my grade 6. He was one of my best friends, he always made me smile.

These are the people who I think about when I look back on elementary school, along with some others, but these are the main six I remember fondly. Dave is now married, living in another city and we have largely lost touch, other than the occasional message on Facebook. Kyle is now a father and we haven’t really spoken since grade 8, I see his Mom though on occasion because I shop where she works. Gerry, I hear about on occasion, along with Kathryn and Julie, but we all lost touch either after elementary school or high school. Courtney and I though are still friends. We lost touch through part of high school and through University and College, but we have reconnected and are still good friends today. It’s great to have her to talk to when I’m nostalgic, like today when I said, “Can you believe we started Kindergarten 22 years ago?”

 

High school, since I went to a different school than almost everyone else, meant an entirely new group of friends, or several groups of friends rather. I was an odd kid in high school. Grade 9 was the only year I took all of my classes in the appropriate grade. In grade 10 I started taking grade 11 glasses, in grade 11 I took grade 12 and OAC class and in grade 12 I took OAC classes and in OAC, well I started University.

I had a number of friends but the one I think about most is my former best friend. Veronica, or Vee as most called her. We became best friends in grade 11, well she was a year older and in grade 12, but I was in grade 11. We were really good friends for four years, two in high school and two in University (despite going to different schools). We so much fun together, we just clicked, and got each other. She was someone I thought would be in my life for the long haul, but that hasn’t happened. We stopped talking around 3 year university. I’m not sure why or what happened, but I know exactly when I gave up. When my world came crashing down around me when my Grandpa died after a brief battle with Lung Cancer and my best friend was nowhere to be found, I was done. I was going through the worst time in my life and I did get a call, an email, a letter, a visit, anything from the person that was supposed to be my best friend. She had spent time with me and my grandparents, she knew how important my Grandpa was to me and how it would break me to lose him and still when he died, I heard nothing from her and I haven’t since either. Vee is now living not far from me, she is married, with a 2-year-old son and another child to be born on September 18th, according to Facebook. I still keep an eye on her life as much as I can through social media, but our friendship is part of our past at this point and I’m not ever sure it will get a second chance; I’m not sure I could give it a second chance, but I miss that girl who was my best friend.

 

University brought a lot of people into my life. Some have stayed, some have only passed through, some are harder and harder to stay connected with.

I am lucky in that I have a number of great friends who I know that no matter how long we go without speaking, we are always able to pick up where we left off.

I have so many stories about so many different people, I cannot begin to tell them all, as I would forget a lot of people and a lot of stories.

But when I think of University I think of these people.

I think of D’Arcy, this kind, sweet, geek who looked after me the first semester of first year. He was one of my closest friends and like family to me. We’ve grown and changed over the years and have grown apart, but I will always remember that sweet boy I met  those first four months of first year.

Then there is Chris, man I adored that guy. I absolutely loved spending time with him. We always had so much fun together, watching movies, going on ghost tours and playing volleyball. He is married now, and I am horrible, I missed his wedding and I feel so bad about that. Hopefully some day I can make that up to him.

And finally there was Matt. He moved into D’Arcy’s room in second semester when Darc went to Ottawa for a Co-op placement. Matt and I had been in almost all of the same classes together all year and we’d never really talked. We became great friends. We took most of the same classes throughout our degree and we graduated together. I wasn’t really close with anyone in my program, so having Matt was great, it was a friend in all of my classes. I loved hanging out with him, he made me laugh and smile. He was a really cool guy. I miss him a lot, but on occasion we will take the time to catch up, which is nice.

First year had a lot of other people, most who I’ve lost touch with, but have never forgotten. The ladies of  the 300’s mallard, made my first year incredibly memorable. From being flashed, to looking after them when they returned home from the bar, I loved those ladies.

Second year was my roommates Erin and Sayward. I love those girls and the best thing about them is that we can not talk for a period of time, but to this point have always been able to pick up where we left off. These girls were amazing. We supported each other through a lot of stuff. I loved scaring the crap out of them though, Sayward by far was the easiest mark I will ever come across. I wish these ladies were in the same city as me, we’d have so much fun. Through Erin, I gained a couple other friends, a mutual friend, also named Erin, who I’d lived in Rez with the previous year and their two friends Andrea and Lisa. Thanks to them, I had my first experience in a strip club. Oh memories of second year, some of which are scarring.

Third year, was probably the hardest year of my life. My grandpa died, and my best friend from high school dropped out of my life. Add to that I was a 3rd year student trying to get the marks I needed for fourth year and I was a Don, who was on call 24/7. I basically lost two people I was really close with in one shot. I got lucky though. Move in day of 3rd year, before my world came crashing down, I met a boy. From the moment I met him, I knew I’d met him for a reason; he was meant to be in my life in some way. His name is Matt and for the last seven years he has been my best friend, he is like family to me. We have been through a lot of good and a lot of bad together and we’ve always made it out the other side stronger than ever. He is the person in my life that I can tell pretty much anything and everything. He is the person I want to talk to when something bad happens and the first I want to talk to when anything good happens. No matter what I always know he has my back. He is my biggest supporter and biggest cheerleader. We live in separate cities, rarely gets to see each other and as life gets increasingly hectic, it’s hard to find time to talk to each other. I am so thankful for social media, because without tweets and pokes we wouldn’t be able to keep track of each other. We both have busy jobs now and he is busy planning his wedding, which is in T-22 months. I know as we get older and have more responsibilities we won’t get to talk as much as we once did, but he is my best friends and I miss him terribly when we don’t get to talk. I hate feeling like we don’t know what is going on in each others lives. I hate feeling disconnected. But I am so glad that I have him in my life because I know that no matter what he is there for me and we will always be able to pick up right where we left off.

Fourth year brought my girls. I always had a lot of guy friends, but fourth year brought a lot of good female friends. Friends who unfortunately are spread out not only across the province, but the globe. Again thank goodness for Twitter, or else I’d have no idea what was happening with Mel (@mellyboo) or Kate (@Kiwi_KateClarke). There are a number of others I’ve lost touch with like, Cat, Lauren and Michele (who loved my sexy man voice).

I could go on and on, but it is getting late. I have had so many great friends over the years and am lucky to have a number of them still in my life, even if it is only through technology. This time of year always makes me wish geography wasn’t so vast. I wish I could drive someone and see all of my friends, but that is not possible.

I have a number of great people still in my life, and number of great memories of people I have lost touch with. This time of year always brings back all of the memories and feelings tied to the people I have met over the years.

With memories like these, feeling old isn’t so bad.

 

 

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Pay it Forward because Little Things Matter

It’s not a new concept, really it’s a rather old one, but I think it is one that we need to be reminded of on occasion.

It’s the concept of paying it forward. The idea that when someone does something nice or helpful for you, you pay it forward for doing something nice of helpful for someone else when you have the opportunity.

I think far too often we get wrapped up in our own world’s. Consumed by our own struggles or sometimes our successes, we often forget about the others around us and what we can do to make their days, or potentially lives a little bit brighter.

Paying it forward does not always require a grand gesture, it can be the simplest of things that work to improve the current or future state of an another individual.

When I am in a position to pay it forward, I always try to. That is just who I am; I take the opportunity to help others where I can or do something to brighten someone else’s day.

I believe that helping others, or being open to others is contagious, as long as you let it be.

A number of people have helped me get to where I am today. Who knows where I would be today without the actions of others. Since I had those helpful people in my life, I make an effort to be that person for others, because we all need people like that in our lives.

People who are willing to give someone a chance. People who will go out on a limb for someone who they barely know, for next to no reason. People who take the time to care and to take an interest. People who take the time to be thoughtful and kind.

We all struggle sometimes in our lives and it’s the positive actions of others that help us to endure and come out the other side even stronger.

I believe that is our responsibility to pay it forward when we are able to. I know that it is sometimes easier to only focus on your own life, but the smallest of kind actions can alter the course of someone else’s life.

Who knows, maybe smile can save someone’s life. Have you ever had a day where everything seems to go wrong, and the entire day you are gritting your teeth? Sometimes, if you let it, the smile of someone you cross on the street can turn your whole day around. I met this guy recently who has this incredibly infectious smile. I love seeing him smile, no matter how bad a day I’ve had, his smile can make me smile. And I’m not even sure it’s his smile that makes me smile, but the fact that his smile remind me of my best friend, whose smile and a hug got me through several days of the hardest year of my life. I wouldn’t go as far to say that that smile saved my life, because my life was not in jeopardy, but that smile made a lot of dark days a lot brighter.

An open mind or a willingness to listen or help also has a huge impact. It’s human nature to want to know that people care. I know when I was job hunting, at times it felt like this entire community was against me, I could not catch a break. The days when I had people give me a chance, or present me with opportunities were bright days. It is an unbelievable feeling when you find someone who is willing to invest in you. Whether it is backing you in your projects, or simply taking the time to talk to you and take interest, having someone show you that they care, is an incredible boost for anyone feeling unheard, unseen and uncared for.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the years. While what I’ve been through has been difficult and at times heart breaking, I know that there others out there struggling with the same things, or things much worse. Because I know that and because I know how I felt with others reached out to me, I make an effort to reach out to others.

I was the newbie in the office three weeks ago, and I was welcomed in and have, I think, developed a decent friendship with the previous newbie. When I was quickly replaced with yet another newbie, I made sure that I made the effort to make her feel as welcomed as I did.

As anyone who has followed this blog knows, I struggled finding a job. Because I struggled and because there were bright spots in that struggle, I make an effort to help others gets through the struggle. I administer an alumni group for my college program. Hopefully some day our alumni group will be a great resource, with people sharing their thoughts, ideas and insights. As we work towards creating that I make an effort to help others who are in the position that I was make it through. I post job opportunities, networking opportunities. I talk to them and listen to them when given the opportunity. It goes beyond my alumni group though, I try to help anyone I know who is struggle with job hunting, because I know that job hunting has the potential to break someone, if they let it.

*And a note to any of those people reading this, keep your head up, keep positive, keep active. Stay involved, stay connected and continue to utilize and improve upon your skills!

I know that sometimes it is easier to approach life with blinders on; to only focus on your own life, but I ask that you take some time to look at the world around you and see ways that you can brighten someone else’s day.

Simple things that can work:

Smile at someone! It’s simple, but  can be the little thing to change someone’s day, and in turn change someone else’s and so on and so forth.

Get someone a treat! It can be someone you know, or a total stranger. Pay for the coffee of the person in line behind you every now and then. You’d be amazed how good that can make someone feel!

Talk to someone you don’t know! Networking events for some of us can be horribly awkward. So if you’re someone who is at ease with networking, or even if you are not, find that person who is standing alone, against a wall, looking slightly horrified and strike up a conversation. It makes no sense, given my chosen profession, but networking makes me a bit easy. I am not comfortable in a room where I don’t really know anyone. I was at a networking even last month and really did not know anyone there and someone I had met once, struck up a conversation and stuck with me most of the night. It was something small, but something I greatly appreciated.

Give back or pay it forward in whatever way you can. It doesn’t have to be big, or time-consuming, it can be something but simple, but do it, because kindness is contagious. When people do something nice for someone else, both parties feel better (usually) and when people feel good and are happy, they are more likely to do something for someone else.

So if someone has done something nice for you this week, or what the heck ever, take the time to do something for someone else. Someone you know, someone you don’t, it doesn’t matter.

 

And now that my eyes will no longer stay open and I’m pretty sure I’ve rambled on, I am going to call it a night! Thanks for reading!

 

 

It’s not just me!

A conversation came up today and I had to blog about it. I need to set it up though.

I am 5’10” (approx) without shoes, add shoes or heels I am as much as 6’2″. My Mom teases me endlessly about my views regarding the height of men.

Blame society, but I prefer a man who is taller than myself. The perfect height in my eyes is 6’2″ give or take. Here is why. As I said I am 5’10”, if a guy is 6’2″, at most in heels we will be the same height, but typically he will be moderately taller than me. It isn’t a freakish height difference, but nice enough that I don’t feel like a giant (which I was often told growing up).

Ever since my sister got married in 2007 my family’s focus has shifted to me and my Mom (and other members of my family) are always trying to set me up for point guys out for me and often they are guys who are shorter than I am and I often crack some joke about either me being a giant or the guy being a munchkin (sorry guys).

Let me say this, this is a general thing, I have though come across some guys lately who are shorter than me, but whose personalities have more than overcome the height difference, so it is possible I could date someone shorter than me, possible, not likely, but possible.

Anyways, so my Mom tease me about my being picky regarding the height of the guys that I date. It’s always a big joke when me dating comes up, that and my pattern of dating younger men.

Today though at work, there was a guy outside working on something and one of the women commented that he was good-looking, but short. There was three of us there and we all agreed that guys shorter than us, just don’t cut it. We all like men who are taller than us. So ha! to my Mom who constantly comments on my preference to guys who are taller than me, it is not just me who will vocalize their preference for taller men!

We did all agree though that when you’re my height, finding guys who are taller, is a bit of a challenge, there are not that many out there, at least not guys who are taller than me, straight and single. That’s a trifecta that is incredibly rare!

 

 

 

 

“Nice Girl”

So about a month ago I wrote a post about Nice Guys and it got a lot of views and sparked some interesting conversations.

I had one conversation with someone I know from University about some of the traps we nice guys and nice girls fall into.

I’ve been thinking about it  a fair bit this week, as I find myself falling into these traps.

While I was able to sit here and write my post about nice guys and spout advice for people about taking chances, going for what you want, I cannot for the life of me follow my own advice or do as I say.

I am the nice girl and here are my biggest problems:

For one, I’ve never really put any energy into not being single. Being single hasn’t ever bothered me and I’ve always kind of worked on the naive premise that when I met the right person it would just work out. Either he’d be very forthcoming about his interest in me, or I’d magically have all the nerve in the world to make my move (haha can’t see that one happening).

So I’ve never really put any effort into relationships. My next problem is that I am hopelessly clueless. I swear a guy could be hitting on me and I wouldn’t have a clue. Ok not entirely true, I always knew when the creepy drunk was making an attempt to  hit on me, but if any ‘normal’ ‘nice guy’ has ever show any interest in me, I’ve been entirely oblivious. This is how bad it is, when I’m out with my Mom she points out when a guy is supposedly hitting on me, though I’m not entirely convinced that his hitting on me isn’t just a byproduct of her wishful thinking. Anyways though, I am clueless, unless a guy tells me “hey, I like you” I’m really not going to pick up on anything. It’s kind of the same with my flirting, apparently according to some friends of mine, I am a flirt and I don’t even know it. I’ve always had a lot of guy friends, so I’m really comfortable with the male species, but apparently some of my standard behaviour is considered flirting. I don’t even realize flirting when I apparently do it!

My next problem, I am an excuse maker. I find reasons not to take chances. For example, my entire dating history has been built upon me making moves, and it hasn’t worked out well to this point, so I figure it’s time to let someone else make the first move. Or, I meet a great guy, but I see him a lot, so I won’t take a chance, because that would make seeing him often really freaking awkward if he didn’t reciprocate my thoughts/feelings. Or the standard, he wouldn’t be interested in me. I know I am a great person and one hell of a catch, I just tend not to believe there is anyone out there perceptive enough to realize that.

I also have a contradiction happening in the way I think about relationships. I want to date someone who I can be good friends with as well. I want to start a relationship by talking to a person, getting to know them and creating a quasi-friendship. Sounds great right (0r maybe not, maybe that’s really stupid)? But if you are friends with someone, moving from friends to more than friends is something most people (well me at least) avoid. We nice people come up with excuses like “I like him/her too much to screw this up”; “I’d rather have him/her in my life as a friend than not have him/her at all”; or my favourite  “he/she doesn’t see me that way”.

We nice guys and girls, while we can be incredibly confident people and know we would be great for someone, we find reasons to basically sabotage our romantic lives out of a paralyzing fear.

I think I drive my best friend nuts. He thinks pretty highly of me (as far as I can tell) and (I think) he believes I deserve a really great guy. But I drive him nuts because I’ll tell him about a great guy that I’ve met and he’ll ask me if there is potential for anything and my answer is always no, with some crap excuses as to why.

This nice girl can give you some great advice, she just doesn’t know how to take any of it.

 

** PS I’m exhausted and it is probably not a good idea to blog when I am this tired and self-reflective haha

My First Week

I survived my first week of my new job!

Ok I more than survived, I think it went well and I really love what I am doing so far.

The first day was your standard “Tours and HR” day. So it was relatively uneventful. I had a meeting first thing in the morning with my boss Darrin and he went over the marketing plan for the LCC with me and what my role was and who was in what department.  After that tagged along on a facility tour with some guests. After that I had a brief sit down at my desk and then went to a first day lunch with my boss to better get to know each other. When I returned I spent most of the afternoon doing all the HR stuff and another facility tour from a different perspective. I had a bit of time to play with the social media, but not much before the day was over.

The rest of my week was filled with meetings with each of the departments heads. First was Darrin on my first day, then Lori (GM) on my second day, followed by  Chris (Event Planning) on the third day, Kent (Sales) and David aka Chef on my fourth day and on Friday I met with one of the other David’s (Event Services).

The rest of the week was filled with social media and other project. My first week was a bit different then what was planned because due to unforeseen circumstances my boss wasn’t there from Wednesday to Friday. Luckily though everyone is incredibly nice, helpful and open to things that I have to offer.

I basically had one stupid question a day this week. I don’t remember all of them, but I remember some.

Day one was how to get out of the office at the end of the day, I found myself locked in and I didn’t want to play with any of the locks in case that messed with building security.

Day two was how to dial outside of the office, I was fairly sure it was 9 like it was everywhere else, but I thought I would ask.

Day four was where to find the chef and how to get the printer to print in colour.

I can’t remember what day three and five were.

 

While my job is “Social Media Specialist” I am definitely more than that. I am more a Marketing/Communications/Social Media Specialist, but that is far too long to fit on a business card.

Day two I got asked to create jpeg’s of a file to send out to someone, which I was more than capable of doing. Day four I made some temporary business cards for myself and Lina, our newest Sales Manager who started a week before I did. We were going to Business After Five and Lina has some meetings next week, so we needed some cards. Having made my own business cards before, and having the template in the branding package that was pinned to my bulletin boards, it only took about an hour to put together cards for myself and Lina.

I made a couple good catches this week on things that had been previously missed. I also made some suggestions on a couple of things. I changed our Twitter handle from LondConvCentre to LdnCC, which is shorter and hopefully easier for people to remember. I also changed the name on the account, so that we are now showing up in search results when people type london convention centre.

I met with Erin, our account manager from Echidna on Tuesday and got a quick run through on the website. I made my first updates that afternoon and I managed to do it without breaking the website! I was pretty excited.

Tuesday I got most of our social media back up and running, posting to both Facebook and Twitter, I need to find some good content for LinkedIn this coming week.

Thursday I finished my first blog and posted it to the website. I was pretty excited. I really wanted to see how many people have read the blog, but unfortunately I’m having trouble finding the analytics for it.

Friday was an awesome day, I got approval for my iPad for work, so after work, I went and picked it up and I have spent today setting it up and doing some work from it. I am learning my way around it, but I think I need some tutorials on a couple of apps I was told to download, like evernote. I hear it is great, I’m just not sure how it works.

I am really diving into the social media, we have a huge conference this week, AMO Annual Conference, so I am really trying to follow along on what is being said at AMO, about the LCC and engaging the people who are attending.

Everyone I am working with is super nice, very welcoming and very open to what have to offer. Some people are a bit more hesitant to embrace social media, but some others seem quite excited to explore the potential of it.

I am really enjoying this job. In previous jobs I’ve hit that wall in the afternoon. At this job though I am always working on something and enjoying what I am working on. I feel challenged and like I am contributing to the work that is being done, which is a great feeling, especially for the first week. The staff has been incredibly welcoming to me and I cannot convey how great that has been. I feel like I can go to anyone in our office. I also feel like I am being treated like an equal and not like the kid, or the newbie.

I have responsibilities and I am free to take them on without having someone over my shoulder all of the time. Of course the things I do, still go through someone else, but for the most part, I can do my job and be trusted to do it well, and it’s only the first week. I feel very empowered in this position, which is nice. I am not waiting for someone to give me something to do. I have things to do and I am able to go ahead and do them.

So far it is a great fit and I am excited to go into work every day and do my job. Hopefully things keep going this way.

If you have the chance come interact with me on our Facebook Page, on Twitter, on LinkedIn or on the Blog. I need people to help me get conversations going. If I can have people I know help me get conversations going, others will join in because they see it happening and see that it is welcomed.

So in summary, after the first week, I am loving my job and the people who I am working with. I cannot wait to do all of the things I get to do.

Where’s Waldo – or rather Where’s Sarah #mynewjob

With 18 hours until I start my new job (the nerves are kicking in), I think it is now time for me to share with you where you’ll be able to find me starting Monday morning.

A number of you already know because either  a) you are a good detective or b) you have run into me at an event and I have shared the news with you.

Tomorrow I will start my new role as Social Media Specialist with the London Convention Centre.

I look forward to taking on this new role and cannot wait to get to know everyone a the London Convention Centre.

My primary responsibilities will be to manage website content (I’ll do my best not to break the website Echidna!), including the LCC blog, and to manage all social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter).

I will fulfill other duties outside of these, but these will be my main responsibilities and the things you see me doing.

 

Here are all of the links:

London Convention Centre Website

London Convention Centre Blog

London Convention Centre Fan Page (Facebook)

London Convention Centre Group (Linked In)

London Convention Centre Twitter Account (@LondConvCentre)

 

I expect the number of fans, group members and followers to shoot up in the next week because all of you are going to follow me at work right? 

 

Feel free to send me a message to say hi, or to ask questions or make comments.

If you have any suggestions for content that you would like to see discussed on the LCC blog or on any of the social media platforms, feel free to send me a message via the @LondConvCentre twitter account or through my personal @Sadie_Liz account and I will see what I can do to address the topics that you suggest when possible.

Also if you have any favourite resources for any of the following feel free to send them my way, I would love to see them.

– Social Media or Social Media Metrics

– Emerging Technologies

– Conferences/Trade Shows

– Event Planning

– Presenting

– Business Meetings

– Wedding Planning

– Anything else you enjoy

 

Working at the LCC will mean that I am spending my days in London; this will allow me to attend more events and participate in more things happening in the London community. I have already started attending Geek Dinner (#gdldn) and I have joined Emerging Leaders. I look forward to getting involved in more things, including working with the Chamber again, and getting involved with the IABC and other community groups.

Hopefully being in London on a daily basis will allow me to continue to get to know the people I have met over the last couple of months (and maybe years for some) and meet even more great people in the London community.

I look forward to being a part of the London professional community!

Don’t be shy, if you see me in person or online, say hi!

 

 

The rules apparently don’t apply to everyone

As all of you know I started a new job Monday, but I spent a good time job hunting so I still like to speak to the issues plaguing those who are unemployed so that people who are struggling know they are not alone in their frustrations. 

What I will talk about here happened to me a couple of times.

Occasionally when you apply to a job you actually do get to interact with someone from the company. Either they respond to your application, even if only to say no thanks, or you make it through to interviews and get to interact with them.

This blog entry will address something to do with the rejection process that irks me. A couple of times over the last three years I have applied to jobs and got a nice email (sometimes a call) back saying thank you for my application but they won’t be moving forward with me, as they have chosen people with more experience in a certain specified area to move forward with.

At first when I got this email, I was like ok, I don’t have a lot of experience in that area, so that is understandable (I did though go through my rant of “To get a job I need experience, to get experience I need a job!” but anyways)

While I was disappointed with the rejection, I let it go and moved on knowing that there was something better out there for me.

Then, I would find out who they did hire and I would either know of the person or was able to do a bit of research (yay for everything being online now-a-days) and I would find out that they were less experienced than I was in the area I was told I didn’t have enough experience.

What?! You told me that I wasn’t moving forward because I didn’t have enough experience with X  – but the person you hired has even less than me?!

Ok apparently the same rules don’t apply to everyone. At which point a little rant would happen to get rid of the negativity that had taken me over, before I could once again let it go and move forward.

This was one of the most frustrating things to me; finding out who got the job I had applied to and thought I could get and absolutely rock. Sometimes I could find out and be at peace with it. The person had been in the industry years longer than I had, they had that specific experience I was told I lacked, ok well they made the right decision.

Other times I would find out that they hired someone who graduated after me and has less on their resume than I did and I just wanted to scream.

When this happens, you start to think about that organization a bit differently because you feel like they lied to you. You also start to question what the real motivation for denying your application was, what exactly did you do that made them throw your resume into the recycling bin? Or what didn’t you do that could have gotten you through to the next round?

I’ve been there several times and I know many of you reading this have been there too. It is incredibly frustrating and can set you fuming.

When this happens, take a deep breath and re-group.

Remember maybe there is something you don’t know/can’t find out about this individual, maybe there is some hidden information that does make them the best fit for the position.

Consider that maybe this wasn’t the right role for you and this was truly a blessing (And I know it won’t seem like it at the time, especially as your bank account is sitting at dangerously low levels). Maybe it wasn’t a good fit; maybe the company wouldn’t live up to your expectations, especially if they weren’t being entirely forthcoming with the reason they didn’t move forward with you.

Again, it is really hard to stay positive while you are job hunting, especially when you see others around you landing jobs and when your bank account balance is continuing to shrink. I get it, honestly, I do.

Keep at it, the right opportunity is out there and it will come along (I know another platitude you’re tired of hearing).

Here are some tips I have to help you through the job hunt:

Volunteer or do some freelance work if you are able to. If you do this you will generate material to add to your portfolio (if you don’t have one, create one, especially if you are in a field like mine (Communications)) and it will show that you are continuing to use your skills and they aren’t sitting idle.  Even if your resume suggests that you’re unemployed.

Write a blog, it will get your name around and who knows, someone might be looking for someone, or know someone who is. Blogs don’t have to be anything special, talk about what you know and/or what you are passionate about. If writing isn’t your thing though, maybe find a different way to express yourself.

Get on Twitter and talk to people. There are a ton of jobs that get shared on Twitter, or again there are people on Twitter who could be looking to hire someone or know someone who is. This doesn’t work for every field because not every profession is online, but someone who knows someone in that profession might be. (Although,  if you are reading this you are probably already on Twitter).

Get out to free events related to your field (I know when you’re out of work, spending money to go to an event isn’t viable, so scope out the free ones).

Take a deep breath and breathe and most importantly, do your best to stay positive! People hire happy & positive people, something I’ve heard many times. In addition to that, if you do have a public online presence, watch what you say and try to stay positive, employers are scouring social media to find out about their potential candidates. (Might not be a bad idea to make your FB personal profile private, or untag yourself in some less than professional photos).

Get in touch with alumni from your school, or your program. It’s amazing what alumni will do for other alumni. I’ve had a couple Brock Alumni try to help me out. One met with me and later opened the door for me to meet with his boss. The other Brock Alumni helped me land the job that I start on Monday.

Ok last tip, if you do get an interview, do your research. Know about the company and the people you are meeting with if possible. Prepare. Be pro-active, if you can prepare samples for the kind of projects you’d be doing in that position, it will show some serious initiative which could garner bonus points. Also come up with some good questions to ask. Companies always ask if you have questions for them, a well crafted question can launch you into the next round in interviews. I have a question I asked in my first interview out of college and I got such a good response, it has become my go to question for any job I apply for.  Signs of a good question: They tell you it is good, or they have to think about it before answering.

Good luck job hunting! Stay positive as best you can, it will happen for you too!